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12.08.2004 General News

Concentrate on Welfare of members - Kufuor

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Accra, Aug. 12, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Thursday reiterated the need for the church to concentrate on meeting the welfare needs of the people instead of only preaching spiritual salvation.

"The church must not only limit itself to the spiritual development of its people, but should also identify and spur growth and development in the areas of health, education, food security and environmental cleanliness," he said.

President Kufuor said this in a speech read for him by Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railway at the opening session of the 63rd Synod of the Global Evangelical Church in Accra..

The Synod is on the theme: "There is More Land To Take." President Kufuor said the government had recognised the efforts the Church was making to complement government's efforts aimed at improving the welfare of the Ghanaian.

"I want to assure you that this government is a reliable partner in your determination to improve the lot of your members."

He said the government had been able within the short period of three and half years changed the direction of the country's economy from a desperate situation to a very hopeful one.

"Indeed, all the macro-economic indicators are pointing to the direction of robust and sustainable development," he said. President Kufuor appealed to members of the Global Evangelical Church to embrace the National Health Insurance Scheme, which he said would provide accessible health care for the poor and the vulnerable.

He praised the decision of the GEC to undertake an agriculture project to enhance food security and urged the Church to include irrigation facilities in its development programmes to ensure all year round production of crops.

The Reverend Dr Emmanuel Gbordzoe, Moderator of the Church, said the leaders were encouraging every congregation to take up the formation of credit unions.

In addition, the various congregations and presbyteries were being tasked to form cooperatives of members of various trade and vocations to enable them to take advantage of financial help from non-governmental organisations and financial institutions to set up viable businesses. Rev Gbordzoe said the church had acquired large tracts of land in some parts of the country and it would enable it to go into community based food production as part of moves to provide food for the growing Ghanaian population.

He expressed the hope that Ghana's reaching of the completion point of the Highly Indebted Poor Country Initiative would translate into concrete improvement in the life of Ghanaians and that the National Health Insurance Scheme would be successfully implemented to cover all vulnerable groups.